Imagini ale paginilor

other, and so numerous that no one counts or discrimi.

- A wooer, nates them ? and can we not, etc.

More hateful than the foul expulsion is

Of thy dear husband. Then that horrid act Not so allur'd to feed”—Iachimo, in this counter

Of the divorce heel'd make the heavens hold firm feited rapture, has shown how the eyes and the judg.

The walls of thy dear honour, etc. ment would determine in favour of Imogen, comparing This is manifestly incorrect, and the conjectural corher with the supposed mistress of Posthumus, and pro- rection which the present text retains has been preceeds to say, that appetite too would give the same suf- ferred by all the editors since Theobald, except Knight, frage. Desire, says he, when it approached sluttery, who proposes to readand considered it in comparison with such neat excel

- A wooer, lence, would not only be not so allured to feed, but,

More hateful than the foul expulsion is seized with a fit of loathing, would vomit emptiness,

Of thy dear husband. From that horrid act

Of the divorce he'd make, the heavens hold firm would feel the convulsions of disgust, though, being un

The walls of thy dear honour, etc. fed, it had no object.-Johnson.

Thus, a clear sense is attained. The 2 Lord imThus Raps you”-i. e. Absorbs and carries away plores that the honour of Imogen may be held firm, your thoughts : a word familiar to the older poets, but to resist the horrid act of the divorce from her husband now obsolete except in the participle, which is still used which Cloten would make. in poetic and oratorical language; as, in Pope, “ Rapt into future times, the bard began," and "the rapt

SCENE II. seraph."

" - our Tarquin thus - then BY-PEEPING in an eye"- This is the original Did softly press the rushes," etc. reading of the folios, and seems a bold and not inex- “The whole of this scene in its delicacy and beauty pressive phrase for sideway or clandestine glances : it has some resemblance to the

night-scene in Shakespeare's is a compound, resembling “under-peep," in act ii. TARQUIN AND LUCRECE. Indeed, Shakespeare, in ono scene 2, though of another meaning. Nearly all the or two expressions, seems to have had his own poem ordinary editions follow Johnson, who changed it to distinctly present to his mind. For example :lie pee ping:

- By the light he spics Base and ILLUSTROUS as the smoky light"—We have

Lucretia's glove, wherein her needle sticks;

He takes it from the rushes where it lies. not hesitated to accept Collier's restoration of this word “illustrous,” which, on Rowe's authority, all modern

“ Again: Iachimo says of Imogeneditors change to unlustrous; but the word is “illus

O sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her!

And be her sense but as a monument, trous" (misprinted illustrious) in all the folios, and it

Thus in a chapel lying! ought on every account to be preferred, as that which

“Lucretia is in the same way described as a monucame from the author's pen, being the phrase of his age;

mental figure reposing upon a pillow :while unlustrous has never been found in any author

Where, like a virtuous monument she lies. until conjecturally manufactured by the Poet's editors.

6. The best illustration of this beautiful image is preThe prefix il or in is of course here used in its negative sense, as in illiterate, illiberal, &c.

sented by Chantrey's exquisite monument of The

Sleeping Children.'"-Knight. "- and fasten'd to an empery"- Empery is a word We may add, with Judge Blackstone, that this phrase, signifying sovereign command: now obsolete. Shake

of Tarquin's “softly" treading, shows the author's speare uses it in RICHARD III.:

meaning, in MACBETH, of “ Tarquin's ravishing strides." Your right of birth, your empery, your own.

To see the enclosed lights, now canopied ACT II.-SCENE I.

Under these windows; white and azure," etc.

“ This celebrated passage has produced differences * Was there ever man had such luck! when I kissed

of opinion among the commentators. Capell says, of the jack upon an up-cast, to be hit away!

the word windows, the Poet's meaning is shutters.' “Cloten is here describing his fate at bowls. It is Hanmer changed the word to curtains. The window objected by Stevens to the character of Cloten, that he is the aperture through which light and air are admitted is represented as at once brave and dastardly, civil and to a room-sometimes closed, at other times opened. brutish, sagacious and cruel, without that subtlety of It is the wind-door. We have the word in ROMEO AND distinction,

and those shades of gradation between sense Juliet, similarly applied and folly, virtue and vice, which constitute the excel

Thy eye's windows fall lence of such mixed characters as Polonius in Hamlet,

Like death, when he shuts up the day of life. and the Nurse in ROMEO AND JULIET.' Such inconsis

"Capel then says that the “white and azure" refer tency is, however, far more puzzling than unnatural.

to the white skin, generally, laced with blue veins. Miss Seward assures us, in one of her letters, that sin

Secondly, Malone thinks that the epithets apply to the gular as the character of Cloten may appear, it is the

enclosed lights,' the eyes. Lastly, Warburton decides exact prototype of a being she once knew :- The un

that the eyelids were intended. The eyelid of an exmeaning frown of the countenance; the shuffling gait;

tremely fair young woman is often of a tint that may be the burst of voice; the bustling insignificance; the fever

properly called white and azure;' which is produced and-ague fits of valour; the froward tetchiness; the un

by the net-work of exceedingly fine veins ihat runs principled malice; and, what is most curious, those oc

through and colours that beautiful structure. Shakecasional gleams of good sense amid the floating clouds

speare has described this peculiarity in his VENUS AND of folly which generally darkened and confused the

ADONISman's brain, and which, in the character of Cloten, we

Her two blue windows faintly she upheaveth. are apt to impute to a violation of unity of character; And in the WINTER's Tale, we havebut in the some time Captain C-n I saw the portrait

Violets dim, of Cloten was not out of nature.'-Illust. Shak.

But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes. " — underlake every COMPANION”—This is used here, But in the text before us, the eyelids are not only of a and in other passages by Shakespeare, in the same sense · white and azure' hue, but they are also lac'd with as fellow is at present. Sir Hugh Evans denounces the blue of heaven's own tinct,' marked with the deeper host of the Garter as a scurvy, cogging companion." blue of the larger veins. The description is here as

accurate as it is beautiful. It cannot apply with such More hateful than the foul expulsion,” etc.

propriety to the eye, which certainly is not lac'd with The reading of the original is in the following man- blue; nor to the skin generally, which would not be per:

beautiful as “white and azure.' It is, to our minds, onc



[ocr errors]




of the many examples of Shakespeare's extreme accu

Your mother too : racy of observation, and of his transcendent power of She's my good lady." making the exact and the poetical blend with and sup- “This is said ironically. “My good lady' is equivaport each other."-Knight.

lent to my good friend.' So in HENRY IV., Part II.,

Falstaff says to Prince John :-'And when you come to "Swift, swift, you dragons of the night!"-"The task of drawing the chariot of night was assigned to

court, stand, my good lord, pray, in your good report.'

Illust. Shak. dragons, on account of their supposed watchfulness. Milion mentions “the dragon yoke of night,' and 'the

SCENE IV. dragon womb of Stygian darkness.'”Illust. Shak.

(Now MINGLED with their courages)”—In the folio, May Bare the raven's eye”—The folios have beare 1623, the word is wing-led, but altered to “mingled" the raven's eye,” which Theobald corrected to bare: in the folio, 1632, and adopted by Rowe and most modthe raven being a very early bird, ihe wish is that the ern editors. Stevens, Knight, and the German translator dawn may awaken him. Knight prefers the original, as Tieck, prefer the compound word, as a bold Shakemeaning that there may be light enough to sustain that spearian image, descriptive of borrowing wings from acrite vision. The reading of the texi, followed by all courage. other editors, strikes me as clear, and the sense just sta

Was Caius Lucius," etc.—In the folios, and the ted as correct and poetical; but Mr. Barron Field thinks editions before Stevens, this speech is given to Posthuthat this expression has been understood too literally, as

mus, but by a mistake, owing to the same initial belong. meaning that the “raven's eye” is bared or opened by ing to Philario. Philario takes up the conversation, while the “ dawning :” he apprehends that night is here poet- Posthumus is employed in eagerly reading his letters. ically described as “the raven."

"- the story, SCENE III.

Proud Cleopatra, when she met her Roman," etc. Hark! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings”—The

Johnson observes, that “Iachimo's language is such

as a skilful villain would naturally use,-a mixture of same hyperbole occurs in Milton's “ Paradise Lost," book v.:-

airy triumph and serious deposition. His gayety shows

his seriousness to be without anxiety; and his serious- ye birds That singing up to heaven's gate ascend.

ness proves his gayety to be without art. And in Shakespeare's twenty-ninth Sonnet:-

“Since the true life on't was"-In this edition the Like to the lark at break of day arising

original reading is retained, with the dash, added by the From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate,

editors to signify a broken or interrupted sentence, And again in VENUS AND ADONIS:

which is very intelligible. Yet an error of the press Lo, he: e the gentle lark, weary of rest,

is not improbable, and perhaps M. Mason's correction From his moist cabinet mounts up on high,

ought to be received into the text:And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast

Such the true life on't was.
The sun ariseth in his majesty.
Perhaps Lily’s “ Alexander and Campaspe” suggested

- The roof o' the chamber

With golden cherubins is fretted.
What bird so sings, yet so does wail?

Stevens calls this “a tawdry image." Douce justly
O'tis the ravish'd pightingale.
Jug, jug, jug, jug, teureu, she cries,

says, “ The Poet has, in this instance, given a faithful And still her woes at midnight rise.

description of the mode in which the rooms in great Brave prick song! who is't now we hear?

houses were sometimes ornamented.”
None but the lark so shrill and clear;
Now at hearen's gates she claps her wings,

11- her andirons
The morn not waking till she sings.

(I had forgot them) were two rinking Cupids," etc. Hark, hark, with what a pretty throat Pons robin-red-breast tunes his note;

The andirons of our ancestors were sometimes not Hark, how the jolly cuckoos sing,

only costly pieces of furniture, but beautiful works of Cuckoo to welcome in the spring,

art; the standards were often, as here described, of Cuckoo to welcome in the spring.

silver, representing some terminal figure or device; the Passages in Chaucer, Spenser, Skelton, etc., have been

transverse or horizontal pieces, upon which the wood pointed out by Mr. Douce, which have parallel thoughts.

was supported, were what Shakespeare here calls the On chalic'd flowers that lies”—This apparently

brands, properly brandirons. Upon these the Cupids false concord is in truth a touch of old English idiom.

which formed the standards “nicely depended,” seemSee note in ROMEO AND JULIET, act ïi.

ing to stand on one foot. "With every thing that pretty is”-So all the old

- Then, if you can copies, and not "pretty bin," as Hanmer altered the Be pale : I beg but leave to air this jewel; see!"text. In this kind of ballad-measure, it was not required This passage is usually pointed thusthat each line should have its rhyme; the more usual

- Then, if you can, practice was the reverse.

Be pale; I beg but leave to air this jewel.

Johnson interprets this reading, “ If you can forbear to Diana's rangers FALSE themselves"-In this in

Alush your cheek with rage." Boswell says, “ if you can stance, false is not an adjective, but a verb; and as

restrain yourself within bounds; as pale is used for to such is also used in the COMEDY OF ERRORS, “Nay, not

confine or surround." With Knight we follow the puncsure, in a thing falsing :" act ii. scene 2. Spenser tuation of the original, which gives a clear meaningoften has it:

Then, if you can
Thou falsed hast thy faith with perjury.

Be pale, I beg but leave to air this jewel.
and must not foil"— The modern reading has

Iachimo has produced no effect upon Posthumus as yet,

but he now says, been soil for “foil," as it is printed in all the old edi

If you can be pale, I will see what tions: to “foil the precious note of it" is as intelligible

this jewel will do to make you change countenance." as to soil, and no change seems required. In ANTONY

"- her attendants are AND CLEOPATRA the same word occurs, and the same

All sworn, and honourable." needless alteration was made.

Dr. Percy shows, that it was anciently the custom for "A Hilding for a livery" —A “hilding" or hinderling, attendants on the nobility (as it is now for the servants means a low wretch. Horne Tooke derives it from of the sovereign) to take an oath of fidelity, on their hyldan, Sax. to crouch.

entrance into office.

this song :

SCENE V. Is there no way for men to be," etc.—“Milton was very probably indebted to this speech for one of the sentiments which he has imparted to Adam, Paradise Lost,' Book x. :

- O why did God,
Creator wise, that peopled highest heaven
With spirits masculine, create at last
This povelty on earth, this fair defect
Of nature, and not fill the world at once
With men, as angels, without feminine,
Or find some other way to generate

Mankind? “See also, Rhodomont's invective against women, in the Orlando Furioso,' and, above all, a speech which Euripides has put into the mouth of Hippolytus, in the tragedy bearing his name."-STEVENS.

Of these great poets, Milton was the only imitator, and he was familiar alike with Shakespeare, Euripides, and Ariosto, and frequently interwove their thoughts and images with his own solemn lay. It is as unquestionable that the three last named were all equally original in this thought.

The very devils cannot plague them better." This is the same idea expressed by Sir Thomas More—“God could not lightly do a man more vengeance than in this world to grant him his own foolish wishes."-MORE's Comfort against Tribulation."

gold, and caused himself with great solemnity to be crowned :-and because he was the first that bare a crown here in Britain, after the opinion of some writers, he is named the first king of Britain, and all the other before rehearsed are named rulers, dukes, or governors. Among other of his ordinancos, he appointed weights and measures, with the which men should buy and sell: and further, he caused sore and strait orders for the punishment of theft.”

"- Thou art welcome, Caius. Thy Cæsar knighted me; my youth I spent,” etc.

Hollingshed has thrown light on this passage also :“Kymbeline (as some write) was brought up at Rome, and there was made knight by Augustus Cæsar, under whom he served in the wars, and was in such favour with him that he was at liberty to pay his tribute or not. -Yet we find in the Roman writers, that after Julius Cæsar's death, when Augustus had taken upon him the rule of the empire, the Britons refused to pay that tribute.—But whether the controversy which appeared to fall forth between the Britons and Augustus was occasioned by Kymbeline, I have not a vouch.-Kymbeline reigned thirty-five years, leaving behind him two sons, Guiderius and Arviragus."

Behoves me keep at UtterANCE”-i. e. To keep at the extremity of defiance. Combat à l'outrance is a fight that must conclude with the life of one of the combatants. So, in MACBETH :

Rather than so, come, fate, into the list,

And champion me to the utterance. I am PERFECT”-i. e. assured. So, in the WinTER's TALE

Thou art perfect then, our ship hath touch'd upon
The deserts of Bohemia.



[ocr errors]

ACT III.-SCENE I. Yearly three thousand pounds"—The computation of the amounts of plunder, tribute, wealth of conquered kings, &c., not in Roman sesterces, or the foreign money of account, but in pounds of gold or silver, is of such freqnent occurrence in ancient writers, that it is not ascribing any great learning or antiquarian accuracy to Shakespeare, who was well read in the translations at least of several of the classics, to understand him here just as we should Knowles or Miss Baillie, in any similar case, as speaking not of pounds sterling but of pounds weight of coin, as a Roman would have estimated the tribute-money of a subject foreign prince.

With Rocks unscaleable"— The original reads oaks. The epithet shows it to be a misprint, and proves the propriety of the correction, which is Hanmer's.

* 0, giglot fortune"-"Strumpet fortune," as she is called in Hamlet. Thus, young Talbot, in Henry VI., calls Joan of Arc "a giglot wench."

" to master Cæsar's sword"-Shakespeare has here transferred to Cassibelan an adventure which happened to his brother Nennius. The same historie (says Hollingshed) also make mention of Nennius, brother to Cassibellane, who in fight happened to get Cæsar's sword fastened in his shield by a blow which Cæsar stroke at him. But Nennius died within fifteen days after the battel, of the hurt received at Cæsar's hand, although after he was hurt he slew Labienus, one of the Roman tribunes," book iii. chap. 13. Nennius, we are told by Geoffrey of Monmouth, was buried with great funeral pomp, and Cæsar's sword placed in his tomb.-Malone.

" — Mulmutius made our laws, Who was the first of Britain which did put," etc.

The title of the first chapter of Hollingshed's third book of the “ History of England,” is :-"Of Mulmutius, the first King of Britain who was crowned with a golden crown, his laws, his foundations," etc.

“Mulmutius, the son of Cloten, got the upper hand of the other dukes or rulers; and, after his father's decease, began to reign over the whole monarchy of Britain, in the year of the world 3529. He made many good laws, which were long after used, called Mulmutius' laws, turned out of the British speech into Latin by Gildas Priscus, and long time after translated out of Latin into English by Alfred, King of England, and mingled in his statutes. After he had established his land, he ordained him, by the advice of his lords, a crown of

SCENE II. " What monsters her accuse?"-So every old copy : every modern edition, except Collier's, “What monster's her accuser ?" I agree with Collier, that no variation from the ancient text is required; though it is maintained on the ground of the single person, the “ false Italian," afterwards mentioned.

Shall give thee opportunity"_" The original stagedirection for this scene was—Enter Pisanio, reading of a letter.' The modern editors, when they come to the passage beginning “Do't," insert another stage-direction of Reading.' Upon this, Malone raises up the following curious theory :-Our Poet, from negligence sometimes makes words change their form under the eye of the speaker, who in different parts of the same play recites them differently, though he has a paper or letter in his hand, and actually reads from it The words here read by Pisanio from his master's letter (which is afterwards given at length, and in prose) are not found there, though the substance of them is contained in it. This is one of many proofs that Shakespeare had no view to the publication of his pieces. There was little danger that such an inaccuracy should be detected by the ear of the spectator, though it could hardly escape an attentive reader.' Now, we would ask, what can be more natural, what can be more truly in Shakespeare's own manner, which is a reflection of nature, than that a person having been deeply moved by a letter which he has been reading, should comment upon the substance of it without repeating the exact words? The very commencement of Pisanio's soliloquy— How! of adultery ?' is an example of this.

Really, a critic, putting on a pair of spectacles, to compare the recollections of deep feeling with the document which has stirred that feeling, as he would compare the copy of an affidavit with the original, is a ludicrous exhibition."-KNIGHT.

Good wax, thy leave.- Blessed be, You bees, that make these locks of counsel!" etc. “The meaning is, that the bees are not blessed by the man who is sent to prison for forfeiting a bond, which



is sealed with their product-wax, as they are by lovers, trasted) attending his prince only to suffer rejection or for whom the same substance performs the more pleas- delay of his suit. He “speeds to-day to be put back ing office of sealing letters."

to-morrow;" as Spenser in a similar passage has deThe allusion shows technical familiarity with the laws scribed the life of the “unhappy wight, -that doth his of that day. The seal was essential to the bond, though life in so long tendance spend.' a signature was not; and forfeiters is the technical term The next line is in the original edition (followed by for the breach of covenant, (by non-payment or other- the other folios) printed "Richer than doing nothing wise,) by which the penalty became absolute in law. for a babe." This hardly gives an intelligible sense; " — would even renew me with your eyes"-It has

though Stevens thinks that it may allude to the wardship been usual to vary from the old copies, by reading,

of infants of fortune, given to favourites at court, who “would not even renew me;" but this change, as Mr.

enjoyed the revenue of their wards and did nothing for Amyot remarks, hardly seems required, the sense being,

them. This is so obscurely expressed, and alludes to a that Justice and the wrath of Cymbeline could not do

circumstance so little familiar, that it can hardly have Posthumus any cruelty, but such as might be remedied

been meant, and an error of the press or copyist seems by the eyes of Imogen.

more likely. Warburton therefore conjectured the true

reading to be for “a bauble;" i. e. "some empty title - say, and speak Thick"—i. e. Rapidly: as, “My gained by court attendance ;" and as bauble was anheart beats thicker," in TROILUS AND CRESSIDA. ciently spelled bable, this is by no means an improbable "- nimbler than the sands"-It may be necessary

emendation. Johnson proposed to read brabe, (a word 10 apprise the reader that the sand of an hour-glass

of his own coinage from the Latin brabe-ium,) a reward used to measure time is meant. The figurative mean

or prize. There is no trace of any such English word ing is, swifter than the flight of time.-SINGER.

in this sense; but the same word is found, though rarely,

in the meaning of “scornful or contemptuous looks or “ A FRANKLIN's housewife-The franklin in Shake

words." In this sense Singer has adopted it in his text. speare's time had, for the most part, gone upward into

The objection to this is, that it is but a repetition of the the squire, or downward into the yeoman; and the former line,-a waste of words wholly unusual in the name had probably become synonymous with the small

condensed and elliptical style in which Shakespeare genfreeholder and cultivator. A franklin's housewife"

erally presents his moral reflections. The emendation would wear “no costlier suit” than Imogen desired for

received in our text is that of Hanmer, which Knight concealment. Latimer has described the farmer of the

and Collier adopt—"for a bribe." It corresponds better early part of the sixteenth century :-“My father was a than any other word with the preceding word richer; yeoman, and had no lands of his own, only he had a

and the mistake might easily have been made even in farm of three or four pound by the year, at the utter

copying or printing from clearer manuscript than most most, and hereupon he tilled so much as kept half a

authors make. The sense is good :—"Such a life of dozen men.

He had walk for an hundred sheep, and activity is richer than that of the bribed courtier, even my mother milked thirty kine."

though he pocket his bribe without rendering any reNor what ensues, but have a fog in them," etc.

Such a thought is natural in Belarius, who had We adopt Monck Mason's punctuation and interpre

seen the vices of the great, and was perfectly intelligible tation of this passage. “I see before me, man," is, I

to Shakespeare's audience, who lived in those “good old see clearly that my course is for Milford. Nor here,

times” when the greatest, and sometimes the wisest, nor there, nor what follows-neither this way, nor that

were not only accessible to bribes, but expected them; way, nor the way behind—but have a fog in them.

while every concern of life was dependant upon the

caprice or the favour of those in power. A note in SCENE III.

Knight's edition deduces the whole passage from some

well-known lines of Spenser, in his "Mother Hubbard's " — that giants may set through"-To "jet” is to Tale," much resembling this train of thought. Our Poet strut. Thus, in the next age, Herrick, a short-winged had seen enough of this sort of life not to be obliged to poet, unequal to any, long-sustained flight, but of un- describe it at second-hand; yet he may have had Spenusual grace and felicity in shorter ones, speaks in his ser's verses in his mind, and they certainly throw light “Noble Numbers"

on his meaning and corroborate the proposed correction Of those that prank it with their plumes,

of the text. The “doing nothing for a bribe” corresAnd jet it with their choice perfumes.

ponds with Spenser's satirical glance at court life:This service is not service"-In any service done,

Or otherwise false Reynold would abuse the advantage rises not from the act, but from the allor

The simple suitor, and wish him to choose

His master, being one of great regard ance (i. e. approval) of it.

In court, to compass any suit not hard. The SHARDED beetle"-" There is a controversy

In case his pains were recompensed with reason,

So would he work the silly man by treason about the meaning of shard' as applied to a beetle. In

To buy his master's frivolous good will, Hamlet, the Priest says of Ophelia

That had not power to do him good or ill. Shards, fints, and pebbles, should be tbrown on her.

Prouder than rustling in un paid-for silk," etc. A shard here is a thing divided; and it is used for something worthless, as fragments. Mr. Tollet says

“As we have had the nobler and richer life, we have that shard signifies dung; and that the shard-born

now the prouder. The mountain life is compared with

that ofbeetle' in MACBETH is the beetle born in dung. This

Rustling in unpaid-for silk. is certainly only a secondary meaning of shard. We cannot doubt that Shakespeare, in the passage before

The illustrative lines which are added mean that such a us, uses the epithet sharded as applied to the flight of

one as does rustle in unpaid-for silk receives the courthe beetle. The sharded beetle, -the beetle whose tesy (gains the cap) of him that makes him fine, yet he, scaly wing-cases are not formed for a flight above the

the wearer of silk, keeps his, the creditor's, book unearth,-is contrasted with the full-winged eagle. The

cross'd. To cross the book is, even now, a common shards snpport the insect when he rises from the ground; expression for obliterating the entry of a debt. It bebut they do not enable him to cleave the air with a bird- longs to the rude age of credit. The original reading is like wing. The “shard-borne beetle' of Macbeth is,

Such gain the cap of him that makes him fine. therefore, the beetle supported on its shards."--Knight. but the second him is generally altered to them. We · nobler, than attending for a check;

have adopted the slighter alteration of gains."-KNIGHT. Richer, than doing nothing for a bribe."

“ Yet keeps his book Uncross'd”—The tradesman's “* Attending for a check" refers to the courtier's (with book was crossed when the account was paid. The alwhose life that of the free forester is throughout con- lusions to this circumstance in old writers are frequent.

[ocr errors]

What should we speak of,

" When a boy, at an ancient mansion-house in Suffolk, When we are old as you."

I saw one of these repositories, which (thanks to a suc“This dread of an old age unsupplied with matter for

cession of old maids!) had been preserved, with superdiscourse and meditation, is a sentiment natural and

stitions reverence, for almost a century and a half. noble. No state can be more destitute than that of him "Clothes were not formerly, as at present, made of who, when the delights of sense forsake him, has no

slight materials, kept in drawers, or given away as pleasures of the mind."--Johnson.

soon as lapse of time or change of fashion had impaired

their value. On the contrary, they were hung on wooden " -- they took thee for their mother, pegs in a room appropriated to the purpose of receiving And every day do honour to her grave." them; and though such cast-off things as were composed Malone pronounces that “the Poet ought to have writ- of rich substances, were occasionally ripped for domesten, to thy grave," and Stevens adds that “he probably tic uses, (viz. mantles for infants, vests for children, and did write so, but that her was a corruption of the counterpanes for beds,) articles of interior quality were printer.” There is no reason for either comment. Her suffered to hang by the walls, till age and moths had grave refers to their mother," in reverence to whom destroyed what pride would not permit to be worn by the sons did every day honour to her supposed grave. servants or poor relations. Thy grave would give a somewhat different, and less

Comitem horridulum trita donare lacernafull sense.

seems not to have been customary among our ancestors.

When Queen Elizabeth died, she was found to have SCENE IV.

left above three thousand dresses behind her; and there - Ne'cr longed my mother so

is yet in the wardrobe of Covent-Garden Theatre a rich

suit of clothes that once belonged to King James I. To see me first, as I have now."

When I saw it last, it was on the back of Justice Greedy, Southern altered his copy of the folio, 1685, thus :- a character in Massinger's New Way to pay Old Ne'er long'd his mother so

Debts.'”-STEVENS. To see him first, as I have nowwhich certainly is more consistent with Imogen's state

" — Come, here's my heart : of mind, and renders the words “ as I have now" more Something's afore'ti-Soft, soft! we'll no defence." relative. It may have been an original misprint in the “In this passage, we have another of Rowe's happy folio, 1623.

verbal corrections. The original copy reads, “Some

thing's afoot.'Illust. Shak. “ Where is Posthumus"-Well-educated men in England have an accuracy as to Latin quantity, and lay Of princely Fellows"-"Fellows" means the a stress upon it, such as are elsewhere found only among

equals of Imogen, who sought her hand in marriage. professed scholars. On this account Stevens, and other I'll wake mine eye-balls Blind first-With all the critics, have considered the erroneous quantity or ac- later editors we adopt Johnson's reading here. In the centuation of Posthumus and Arvirágus, as decisive of old copies “blind" is omitted; but that, or some equivaShakespeare's want of learning. But the truth is, that lent monosyllable, seems necessary for the sense and in his day, great latitude, in this respect, prevailed metre. among authors; and it is probable that Latin was taught in the schools, as it still is in Scotland and many

Hath Britain all the sun that shines ? Day, night, parts of the United States, without any minute attention Are they not but in Britain ?" to prosody. Stevens hiinself has shown that the older “ It seems probable that here, as also on a similar ocpoets were careless in this matter. Thus the poetical casion in Richard II., Shakespeare had in his thoughts Earl of Stirling has Darius and Euphrates with the pen. a passage in Lily’s ‘Euphues :'-— Nature hath given to ultimate short. Warner, who was, I believe, a scholar, no man a country, no more than she hath house, or in his **Albion's England,” has the same error with Shake- lands, or living. Plato would never account him banspeare, as to both names. Posthuinus, in this play, is ished that had the sun, air, water, and earth, that he accented sometimes on the first, aud sometimes on the had before: where he felt the winter's blast, and the second syllable.

summer's blaze; where the same sun and the same

moon shined: whereby he noted that every place was If it be summer news, Smile to 't before."

a country to a wise man, and all parts a palace to a quiet

mind.'Illust. Shak. A similar phrase occurs in the Poet’s 98th Sonnet:Yet not the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell

“— now, if you could wear a MIND,
of different flowers in odour and in hue,

Dark as your fortune is,' etc.
Could make me any summer's story tell.

“To wear a dark mind, is to carry a mind impenetrable “ – Some day of ItalyPutta, in Italian, signifies to the search of others. Darkness, applied to the mind, both a jay and a whore. We have the word again in is secrecy; applied to the fortune, is obscurity: The the MERRY Wives or WINDSOR: Teach him to know next lines are obscure. You must, says Pisanio, disturtles from jays.' The text continues. Some jay of guise that greatness, which, to appear hereafter in its Italy, whose mother was her painting'—i. e. made by proper form, cannot yet appear without great danger to art: the creature not of nature, but of painting. In

itself."--Johnson. this sense painting may be said to be her mother. Stevens met with a similar phrase in some old play: ‘A

SCENE V. parcel of conceited feather-caps, whose fathers were " -- to the loud noise we make"- The preposition of their garments.'"-SINGER.

is inserted after “ loud" in the folio, 1623: it is needless Knight is not satisfied with this sense,

to the sense, and injurious to the metre; but modern reading, for mother, muffler, as referring to the veil or editors have printed the passage, to the loud'st of mask worn by courtesans. This one, according to the

noise we make." We are indebted to Mr. Collier for proposed reading, needed no other mask or covering the restoration of the true reading and improving the than her thick painting.

metre, without any of the wanton innovation so common

in the school of Stevens, " — RICHER than to HANG BY THE WALL3"-" To hang by the walls, does not mean, to be converted into hang- -- FORESTAL him of the coming day"--i. e. May ings for a room, but to be hung up, as useless, among his grief this night prevent him from ever

seeing another the neglected contents of a wardrobe. So, in MEASURE day, by an anticipated and premature destruction! So, FOR MEASURE:

in Milton's • Masque :'-Tbat have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall.

Perhaps forestalling night prevented thein.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and suggests


« ÎnapoiContinuă »